Spark Sport has been made free for all New Zealanders until May.
The streaming service has seen its signature content - Formula 1 racing, English Premier League football and NBA basketball - hit by coronavirus-related cancellations and postponements, decimating its live content, although the telco says it does have more than 1200 pieces of archive and documentary content.
Many codes are only on hold for a couple of months. But Brighton's chief executive Paul Barber said early this week it is "really hard to imagine" the Premier League resuming on April 4, as is currently hoped. Many pundits think the situation will get worse, across all sports, with seasons and competitions voided altogether.
Spark says existing users won't be charged. Those with suspended accounts can reactivate them.
Newbies should click on the "7-day" trial option, that now, despite the wording, will run through until May. Credit card details are required, but with the option to cancel before the May billing cycle.
Spark shares have held up relatively well amid the market carnage, helped by an upgrade from influential Jarden analyst Arie Dekker, who along with colleague Grant Lowe, said its recent fall had put it in line - for the first time in five years - with their valuation, which they base on its cloud and mobile performance, plus cost controls.
Jarden sees Spark's sale of Lightbox as a precursor to an exit from sport as well (Spark chief executive Jolie Hodson recently denied that, but also said it was too early to say if the telco would bid for Sanzaar rights at their next renewal).
Yesterday the telco - which earns a relatively tiny portion of its revenue from sport - saw its shares rise 2 per cent to 4.15.
Streaming rival Sky, which has much broader exposure to sport, saw its shares dive 22 per cent yesterday to an all-time low of 30.5c amid sports cancellations, entertainment companies putting productions on-hold and a slowdown in the ad market.
Across the Tasman, Premier League streaming rights holder Optus has been issuing refunds.
Sky external communications director Chris Major said her company would not follow either move, citing her company's responsibility to keep payments following to local partners NZ sports ecosystem.